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DNI confirms Iranian operatives give financial support to pro Hamas groups in the US

'We have observed actors tied to Iran’s government posing as activists online, seeking to encourage protests.'

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines released a statement on Tuesday confirming foreign assets from Iran are not only encouraging the ongoing anti-Israel protests within the United States, but they are also providing financial support to keep the movement going.

Protests against Israel and the United States have been ongoing since Hamas' attacks in Israel on October 7, 2023. Various groups have been behind the college encampments and street protests that have happened in the months since. Some of them have taken a violent turn, including organized protests ending with attacks on the White House.

"As I noted in testimony to the Congress in May, Iran is becoming increasingly aggressive in their foreign influence efforts, seeking to stoke discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions, as we have seen them do in the past, including in prior election cycles," Haines explained.

"They continue to adapt their cyber and influence activities, using social media platforms and issuing threats. It is likely they will continue to rely on their intelligence services in these efforts, as well as Iran-based online influencers, to promote their narratives," she continued. "In recent weeks, Iranian government actors have sought to opportunistically take advantage of ongoing protests regarding the war in Gaza, using a playbook we’ve seen other actors use over the years. We have observed actors tied to Iran’s government posing as activists online, seeking to encourage protests, and even providing financial support to protesters."

Haines went on to say that "Americans who participate in protests are, in good faith, expressing their views on the conflict in Gaza – this intelligence does not indicate otherwise," but that they may be unaware of how they are being used by the Iranian regime.

The protests are not going away with the summer season. Not only are anti-Israel protests planned for the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention, but they are also planned for July 24, when Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is speaking to Congress. Multiple groups have put out the call for their people to surround the Capitol building, with buses being provided to transport people to Washington, D.C., that day.

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